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CEO Sustainability Series | Jeanne Mouterde, Co-founder & General Manager, ielo design

As part of the Sustainable Business initiative, the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore presents a leadership interview series where we invite CEOs and key executives to discuss crucial management qualities that drive successful sustainable transformation

Question 1: How does ielo design integrate sustainability into its overall business strategy?

We believe that, as designers and makers, we have a responsibility towards the world of tomorrow. Our design choices can help create greater value for our clients and for the planet, on the long run. Driven by this sincere belief, we embarked on a sustainability journey. We developed our framework, “COMMITTED WITH IELO”, aiming to positively impact the entire project lifecycle:

• Co-nscious | An engaged design process, for a smart/efficient creativity (less resources/ waste, modularity for future use/upcycling).

• Co-mmunity | Local & fair trading, which means less CO2 emissions and supporting local businesses sharing our values.

• Co-mply | Certified raw materials, to guarantee more responsible use of natural resources and greater respect.

• Co-nvert | Repurpose & reuse furniture, materials or other elements, to limit waste.

• Co-mpose | Respectful materials, prioritizing low impact on the environment.

• Co-ntribute | Educate our ecosystem to continuously learn and work towards making a positive impact together.

Question 2: Can you share any specific projects where ielo design has successfully implemented sustainable design solutions?

As part of our partnership with the International French School Singapore (IFS), and their sponsors (LVMH, BNP Paribas), we implemented sustainable design solutions to create 4 “kids corners” fostering engagement of the citizens of tomorrow, around meaningful topics such as recycling, smart cities and creativity!

Among these spaces, the “Recycling Corner” aims at raising awareness on sustainability, inspiring kids to play a part in building a greener Singapore. The meaningful space is educative and modular, conducive for diverse activities: reading, drawing, running workshops, etc. We used sustainable materials, and coordinated with various departments across the school to recycle/upcycle existing furniture.

The project resulted in 29% of the project furniture being from a recycled source, and green procurement amounting to 21% of the total construction cost. We are proud this promising milestone to more sustainable and impactful initiatives in the future!

Question 3: What are some sustainability challenges you’ve faced and how did you tackle them?

South-East Asia tends to be less mature on sustainability issues awareness, compared to other markets, such as Europe. This poses challenges in terms of availability of responsible materials, and willingness to challenge current practices. An essential piece of our journey was to meet like-minded partners, and build a growing network of sustainable materials suppliers, energy-saving technology providers, contractors able to up-cycle furniture, and many more. Through research and meaningful conversations, we built a comprehensive database of materials and suppliers sharing our vision.

We also had to navigate different solutions and find out the real impact of our choices: e.g. is it better to use locally sourced yet less sustainable materials, or more sustainable materials but shipped from far away? We decided to favour more meaningful, yet sometimes less obvious, solutions. Raising awareness and keeping an honest approach to sustainability requires a community – let us work together to drive change. One project, one initiative, one material at a time.


This interview was conducted with Jeanne Mouterde, Co-founder & General Manager, ielo design

August 2023 | French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore


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